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Public district
Palo Alto, CA
Students enrolled: 583

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950 Amarillo Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94303

(650) 856-1726
(650) 852-9447
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Ohlone Elementary School address.
Teacher effectiveness: Very effective
August 13, 2015
The teachers are granted a lot of freedom to cater to their kids' needs, and each has an unique style in going about that making each teacher very individual. Although the school puts a lot of effort in matching up kids to teachers, you will have the same teacher for 2 grades, so it is important as a parent to be diligent in making sure the teacher you got is a good fit for your child and to discuss it if there are any issues. However, having graduated and left, my dd still talks about the awesome teachers there, and she was matched up very well with hers.

- submitted by a parent
Develops empathy: Strongly agree
August 13, 2015
Because students share a classroom for 2 years with not just the same teacher but also the same students in their grade, they create strong bonds with them. They learn how to face and deal with any differences or issues going on between them because they are likely stuck with each other for a long time. :) In my dd's classes, they had morning and afternoon class meetings every day in which they discussed anything that might have gone well or wrong so that things get taken care of quickly and don't fester and grow.

- submitted by a parent
Amount of homework: Just right
August 13, 2015
No nightly homework is given. They believe children should have some free time to pursue their own personal endeavors and ideas, and there is a lot of responsibility given to the teachers to get the kids educated during the school day. The way I saw this play out with my child was that children were assigned weekly tasks that they were required to get done in the week, and they were responsible for getting it done during the school day. If they didn't allot their time properly and didn't get things done, then they had to finish it at home. The other side of this was individual projects. We actually spent a bunch of time researching and building at home on my dd's flight project. However, students could opt to do larger or smaller projects. So, the amount of work you end up doing at home may be up to your student. The more you do to support your student at home, the more your child can get out of this school. The sky is the limit, and this school grants your child the freedom needed so that it is up to them how far they go.

- submitted by a parent
Develops respect: Strongly agree
August 13, 2015
Although students are taught to address teachers and staff by their first names, it is specifically because they are taught that all leaders, including school officials, must earn their respect by acting to be worthy of it - not just due to a title. Working in Silicon Valley, I could really get behind this. What matters in most great startups is not your pedigree, but what happens when the rubber hits the road. Because of this, sometimes it is hard to find substitute teachers that can handle it (the students will stand up for themselves if things aren't done properly), but it also means that the teachers at Ohlone have a handle on their kids precisely because they are darned good at what they do.

- submitted by a parent

August 13, 2015
BEST. SCHOOL. EVER. When checking out the schools in PA, I was told whatever school you got, your kid would get a solid educational experience. I did not find that to be true - huge differences between our neighborhood school and Ohlone. It was night and day. After starting at El Carmelo where there was serious bullying that was often ignored and difficulties getting an IEP despite having teacher support, Ohlone was an absolute breath of fresh air. It was immediately noticeable upon meeting the students. They go out of their way to hold doors open for you not out of respect for elders, but to be nice. The popular kids tended to be popular not because they were rich, flashy, or political... They were just nice kids that others simply wanted to be around more. The way life should be! Cliques were not an issue making it easy to be friendly with multiple groups of friends. Previously my dd had great difficulty making friends, at times asked to betray one friend to gain another. At Ohlone it was easy and she found many good friends. In the past my dd strongly protected her individuality and right to act differently (why conform to be like people who treated her meanly) and had her self esteem pummeled for it. She blossomed and had her wounds healed at Ohlone. Special education was quickly offered and carried out generously. The providers were very good and effective. Having a single teacher for 2 grades only helps with that. Previously, teachers were just getting to know my dd well when it was time to move on to the next one. Having been bullied, my dd was very sensitive to detecting it. She didn't see any. One parent told me that when it happened in a class, the teacher took the time to write a play in which the bullies got the roles of bullied kids to understand how it might feel. That took care of it. Where my dd used to think that the world was full of mean, unempathetic people, she now has a lot of hope and the self esteem to believe she can help the world be better. I credit that 100% to Ohlone. It actually brings a tear to my eye that somewhere there is a school producing the next generation of assets to communities. It's now being realized that soft skills are key indicators to future success. This school really excels, all the while getting top test scores and not teaching to the tests so much. Truly the best school I've ever seen and may ever see.

- submitted by a parent

May 22, 2015
Wonderful school, great staff, great community and environment, but the children are not academically challenged. Many of the fifth graders are not fully ready to enter middle school. I guess the middle school teachers are the ones that work hard with our kids to bring them up to middle school standards.

- submitted by a community member

May 17, 2011
Ohlone is truly unique, I can't say enough good things about it. It has brought out the best in our children, educating them towards self-confident curious learners and creative problem-solvers. The teachers' dedication is second to none, they understand the children, and every child is given the opportunity to reach his or her full potential. As an aside: Even though they don't 'teach to the test', my children's test scores went up after switching to Ohlone from a different (comparable) school.

- submitted by a parent

April 18, 2011
This "choice" school is truly a gem. We have had 2 of our children attend Ohlone. We have been able to compare this school with another private school where we sent our oldest child. Ohlone instills a love of learning, independence, and initiative that the private school was unable to provide. They adhere to their philosophy and project based learning is taken very seriously. There is also an emphasis on whole child development.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
April 19, 2010
This school is fantastic. With mixed grade levels, students are able to work at different levels of work and be supported by older kids and help younger students. It is a public comprehensive program encompassing the humanities, sciences and arts. Best of all - the school has a farm where students learn about growing and eating healthy food and taking care of small farm animals. It's the best!

- submitted by a parent

December 17, 2009
They actually teach at Ohlone, not just get through the day. I don't think I realized just how wonderful the place was until I was exposed to other schools. Both of my children who have gone have really become motivated to learn for its own sake. So instead of stopping when they did just well enough to get an A, they were always motivated to learn and do more. And despite not having homework every night (maybe because of it?) have done really well in middle school and beyond. The teachers are really supported to do some of their own thing -- so one class did claymation, another does Shakespeare, some go different places for the simulation. It does depend on the teacher, but that is part of what makes the teachers motivated -- and the school better.

- submitted by a parent

November 14, 2009
We feel blessed to have our kids in the school. Teachers are extraordinary and when faced with a challenge do everything always focusing on the welfare of the cildren.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
October 03, 2009
The teachers are fantastically dedicated and wonderful with the kids; the principal is the same, and the philosophy of the school (educating hearts and minds together) is so right!

- submitted by a parent
no rating
August 04, 2009
Ohlone has been a wonderful school for my daughter for three years. She has cherished both of her teachers, developed a hearty appetite for reading, and feels confident about herself as a student. I am grateful to be a part of this community.

- submitted by a parent

July 17, 2009
great 'style' that hearkens back to how school should be at this age

- submitted by a parent

May 10, 2009
Our kids have gotten a tremendous love of learning at Ohlone. They are curious, questioning, and liberated to think in new ways, mostly (I think) due to the alternative curriculum. Ohlone's 'no-homework' rule is an incredible blessing to let the kids be kids as long as possible. The test scores catch up by grade 5, earlier on, they are lower, largely (imho) b/c Ohlone does not 'teach to the test' and they don't teach test-taking skills, until later in the curriculum. The buddy system, 2 years per teacher, farm and caring parents make this an Oasis of creativity and learning in the crazy world we live in. Principal Susan Charles is a gifted leader.

- submitted by a parent

February 08, 2008
Ohlone is a fantastic find. The independence and self direction fostered here are the best tools possible for success in later learning. Our children enjoyed their time at Ohlone tremendously and were very well prepared for middle school and had the tools to ensure their own learning success.

- submitted by a parent

October 10, 2007
Ohlone does a great job of teach kids a love of learning. We've been thrilled with it.

- submitted by a parent

March 04, 2006
This is a wonderful school that fosters learning. It is a special place for children to learn. The school works best if the child is a motivated and self directed learner. The teachers and principal are fantastic.

- submitted by a parent

January 29, 2006
Upon visiting this school I realized the importance of a well balanced eduction for any child. The children of this alternative education school benefit from a hands on education that can be felt and is tangable rather then just read in a text. They are well rounded children who learn through various practical manners and who understand the subject learned because they are given the opportunity to feel that knowledge first hand.

- submitted by a parent

October 03, 2005
The level of parent involvement is very high at Ohlone. They use the help of parents all the way up to fifth grade. They have music classes available beginning at 3rd grade. The children do specific instrutments during fifth grade. The downside of Ohlone is the lack of continuity from grade to grade. Sometimes depending on the teacher, the child may not be well prepared for the next grade level. Unless there is a glaring problem, the child will move on. There also seems to be a lack of consistency within grades, one 2/3 class can have a very different emphasis than another. The differences are very disturbing. The bottom line is, everything depends if you get a good teacher or not. Seems like there are less and less of those.

- submitted by a parent

April 22, 2005
We have been thrilled with our experience at Ohlone. The academic level is outstanding and the project oriented learning has really helped our children to enjoy school and be fully engaged in their learning.

- submitted by a parent

January 19, 2005
This is a school that is great for independent workers because they really stress working independently. This is also a great school for creative students because they emphasize working out-of-the-box.

- submitted by a student

August 23, 2004
My daughter has attended Ohlone since 2000; she is entering into her last year at Ohlone a more confident, aware, social, committed student! I don't know what I would have done without Ohlone. Ohlone teaches the whole child and I am very grateful for that! Ohlone is committed to the community as well as each individual student. I am so grateful for the parents that have been able to commit there time to the classrooms and the opportunities for me to be helpful from a distance as I am a single mom with not a lot of 'free' time.

- submitted by a parent

August 19, 2004
Very very good school, my kids love it there and the teachers are magnificent

- submitted by a parent

June 29, 2004
Supports children's learning creatively and develops self-motivation. Fosters teaching relationships between children by having each child mentor a younger child.

- submitted by a student

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Last modified: August 13, 2015

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Ohlone Elementary School
950 Amarillo Avenue, Palo Alto, CA  94303
(650) 856-1726
Last modified Ohlone Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Ohlone Elementary School Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 35 reviews. Top